#3: Isaac Howard, LW
If the Canucks want a winger, Isaac Howard is a good option.
Howard will attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth next season. He spent the last couple of years with the US National Development program. This past season, he played 60 games with the US National under-18 team and managed 33 goals and 49 assists for 82 points. Howard also played with the USNDP Juniors and scored 11 goals and got 26 assists for 37 points in 27 games.
Howard is ranked as high as tenth by Dobber Prospects and as low as 38th by FC Hockey. But McKenzie has Howard at 15th overall.
Howard is a goal scorer, plain and simple. The 5’10’ 183-pound winger has an excellent release. He usually scores his goals in the slot. The wrist shot is just so accurate.
“Isaac Howard is one of my favorite prospects in the 2022 class,” said Austin Broad of FC Hockey. “He’s a pure goalscoring talent on the wing that can deceive goalies with his release, but he’s shown that he can be more of a playmaker early on this season, making him a multi-tooled offensive weapon.”
The part about Howard being a playmaker is very true. He knows how to find teammates easily and his passes are very accurate.
When it comes to skating, Howard does well. His stride looks very quick.
In the defensive zone, Howard is often seen trying to get the puck away from opponents. However, his abilities in the transitions haven’t created much offensively.
Howard’s size may also be a concern but he looks like a complete offensive player and one that could be a potential steal for the Canucks.
#4: Denton Mateychuk, D
If the Canucks want to take a defenceman, Denton Mateychuk is an option.
Mateychuk plays for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL. This past season, he scored 13 goals and tallied 51 assists for 64 points in 65 games.
“He’s always up in the play, and when he gets the puck, few defensemen create more opportunities,” said Mitch Brown of Elite Prospects Rinkside. “He’s a confident, aggressive defender too.”
Mateychuk is a puck-moving defenceman and that is what he is very good at it. His excellent skating makes him enter the offensive zone with ease.
The left-handed defenceman is a leader and makes things happen whether that’s on the rush or at the blue line. Mateychuk’s vision allows him to make clean, crisp and accurate passes and his shot has a solid release.
However, as good as Mateychuk is on the rush and on the blue line, he can make risky plays and is prone to turnovers. Mateychuk also can struggle defensively at times and that could be due to his size. (5’11”, 187 pounds.)
If the Canucks want another puck-moving defenceman, Mateychuk could be their guy if he’s available.